Arsenal paid the price for some heavy rotation in the FA Cup clash with Southampton on the weekend. Therefore, a reaction will be needed and stronger team selection as well, if we are to beat the Saints in our league clash on Tuesday night. Who do you think should take to the field to face the Saints? Do you agree with my selections?
Leno: No questions asked. I’m sure after a couple more weeks of bedding in we will see Ryan in an Arsenal shirt for the first time. But for now, there is no doubt Leno should start
Cedric: He struggled on the left against Southampton but I would give him a chance at RB to continue the form he showed against Newcastle
Holding: I think he really struggled against Southampton at the weekend, and perhaps we will see Luiz come in instead. But I would give him another chance to get the better of Ings and Adams based on his overall performances this season
Gabriel: With Mari likely still out, Gabriel gets the nod to be the other CB. He had a poor first half against Southampton but seemed a lot more assured in the second half with Partey in front of him
Tierney: Again you can see just how much we missed this guy on the weekend. There was no real width on the left hand side and whenever we could get the ball out there, it would often or not come backwards
Partey: The guy bossed the game off the bench and was the only player able to play through the Saints press. He simply has to start for us to have a chance of winning against Southampton
Xhaka: Ceballos may well not be fit anyway, but I probably wouldn’t play him anyway. Southampton are an excellent attacking side and we need strong bodies in the midfield to break down these attacks. Partey and Xhaka have been doing that very well in recent weeks
Saka: Pepe showed glimpses in the FA Cup game against Southampton, but certainly not enough to persuade any fan that he deserves to start ahead of Saka. We really missed his spark last time out
Emile Smith Rowe: Having this guy playing in the number 10 role compared to Willian will be like chalk and cheese. Smith Rowe will help us play quickly and make more out of the counter attacks we were having on Saturday
Aubameyang: Disclaimer: I am not aware of the full extent of Auba’s family emergency, meaning there is a chance he is not available for selection. However, if he is I would give him the nod over Martinelli. I just think Auba is that bit more clinical and is slowly started to get back on form
Update: Auba will miss the game today, so it’s time for Gabriel Martinelli to get a start.
Lacazette: With Nketiah up top it simply wasn’t working. We need a focal point who can receive the ball and bring others into play. He is so key to allow ESR and Saka to really express themselves
I don’t think Arteta will have too many issues selecting his team. Auba may not be available and he may wish to mix things up at RB and CB, but overall I would argue that the team for this fixture pretty much picks itself based on the uninspiring performances of the likes of Nketiah, Willian, Pepe and the like on Saturday. But what do you think? How do you think we should line up to face the Saints?